The Media officer, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), Jubril Arowolo, on Tuesday said that the club’s fans should expect a better team for the 2016/2017 Nigeria professional Football League (NPFL).
Arowolo, speaking on the preparedness of the team for the new season, said the team was ready to compete well.
The former league power-house, had won the competition five times being winners in 1976, 1980, 1983, 1995 and 1998, as one of the most decorated football clubs in the league.
The team was also four times winners of the FA Cup in 1971 then as (WNDC) in 1977, 1979 and 1995.
Shooting Stars won the African Cup Winners’ Cup in 1976, becoming the first Nigerian side to win an international trophy.
In 1992, 3SC was crowned CAF Cup champions when it defeated Nakivubo of Uganda 3-0 in the final at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan.
The traditional club, however, has seen its fortune nosedive due to financial problems and was relegated to the lower league in 2006 but regained promotion to the elite division in 2009.
The Ibadan-based Oluyole warriors had battled relegation for two consecutive seasons in 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons.
In 2014/2015, the team started the season with some strings of bad results before been rescued by Coach Gbenga Ogunbote.
Ogunbote turned the table around and eventually 3SC finished 9th on the NPFL table with 53 points from 38 matches. It won 15, drew 8 and lost 15.
The 2015/2016 was not so good for the team after engaging veteran coach Kadri Ikhana who recorded strings of uninspiring results. Ikhana was then replaced by Ogunbote for a second stint.
Ogunbote, however, faced an uphill task to save one of the known traditional teams in Nigerian league history from second relegation within only seven years of regaining promotion to the elite division.
He laboured until the wire of 2016 season before 3SC could only survive relegation with 15th place on the log with 47 points from 36 matches. It won 14, drew 5 and lost 17.
In readiness for the 2016/2017 season, 3SC management employed former Dream Team VI Assistant Coach, Fatai Amoo to tinker
the team after the departure of Ogunbote to Enyimba International of Aba.
However, Amao is not a stranger to the team as it will be his second coaching experience at the club.
On the team and preparation for the new league matches which hopefully will start on Jan. 14, Arowolo said that the team was sure not to be fighting against relegation.
“Our fans should expect a better team as we have done the needful. We will compete and compete well; we have built a very good team for our
“Whenever people are coming to see us play, they will be watching a well articulated team because we will not win our matches on the pages of the newspapers.
“We have employed the services of a seasoned technician who knows the team in and out and for this season, we will not be fighting relegation battle.
“Ogunbote has done a good job for us and left for another challenge, the tradition of the club does not allow keeping people against their wish; our doors are always open,’’ he said.
Arowolo said that the preparation for the season was well monitored and purposeful, adding that the team had been in camp before the 2016
“The preparation is at the peak now and we will continue to prepare for matches regardless of the pre-season training.
“The team has been in Ijebu-Ode camp before Christmas and they were only granted the holiday but have since returned to training.
“This time around we promise to give the fans the best of football at our traditional ground in Adamasingba Stadium with the employ of some fresh bloods injected into the team.
“Although we are not allowed to name those players now because of the League Management Company (LMC) rules, they will be made known after their clearance by the league organisers,’’ he said.